Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trails.
This is a network of purpose-built singletrack trails and forest roads that are designed for use by mountain bikes on waymarked circular routes. The routes are graded blue (moderate) and red (difficult/severe). In this first phase of an extensive trail system, there are two options to choose from, a 12km blue grade trail, with an optional 10km of more challenging red grade trail. The trails take the riders through beautiful forest and open land with fantastic views over Kinnitty Castle and village and beyond. Forest road climbs lead you into tight twisty singletrack with loads of fast descents, ups and downs, tight turns and technical rocky bits, guaranteed to leave you smiling! The trails are waymarked in one direction, please follow the arrows. For a more detailed view of the trail you can check out the Offaly Map
The blue grade trails are open, slowing singletrack that constantly twists and turns and rises up and down with numerous tight, technical or challenging sections throughout.
The red grade route is challenging throughout as the trails vary from fast and flowing to tight, technical and rocky, with numerous difficult sections along the route. The trail constantly twists and turns and rises up and down. This trail tests all a rider's skills and abilities and is not for novice riders (red grade trail).
Leaving Kinnitty village the route shares the public road, so caution with traffic is needed. Turning right into Kinnitty GAA club, pick up the wide 'dual direction' trail leading riders onto the singletrack loop above. Riders will also travel the same trail in the opposite direction on their way back. Riders beware of cyclists approaching in their direction.
A long forest road climb gains elevation to bring you into the main singletrack and these sections are narrow, sometimes steep and up to 800mm in width, with variable surfaces including rock, roots, mud, loose stones and gravel that may become slippery when wet. The singletrack also crosses walking trails and forest roads at a number of points so watch out for walkers here.
As the waymarked route approaches the public road, riders must make a decision. Either return on the blue graded loop down the public road, or continuing onwards on the more challenging red grade route. The blue graded route descends a short section of public road, where all riders must obey the rules of the road at all times. Once on the Kinnitty side of the public road, the remainder of the loop is on forest roads and you should expect to encounter vehicles and other forest users at any time on these parts of the loop.
In general, the trail is exposed on the upper slopes and can be windy in poor weather. Please make sure your mountain bike is in good working order and that you have an appropriate level of fitness and skill level to undertake these trails. All riders should be appropriately dressed and wear a helmet at all times. Please ride with consideration for the many other forest users and control your speed.
Blue Grade Trail
Time: 90 to 120 minutes
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
Meters Climb: 306
Trail Waymarking: Blue
Red Grade Trail
Time: 90 to 150 minutes
Degree of Difficulty: Difficult / Severe
Meters Climb: 440
Trail Waymarking: Red
When complete, there will be more than 80kms of trails ranging from blue to black grade trails, complete with full trailhead facilities at Baunreagh and visitor services in Kinnitty village. The trails will cover a vast swathe of Coillte’s forests from Offaly to Laois and back.
Visitors can park in Kinnitty village and are free to ride their own mountain bikes or can hire top quality bikes from providers such as Mid Ireland Adventure.
There are more Mountain Bike Trails open on the Laois side of Slieve Blooms, centred at Baunreagh. Click here for details Laois trails and view the trail MAP HERE.
The trails are developed in partnership with Offaly and Laois County Councils and are funded by the Dept of Rural and Community Development.